Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Why I Share the Pulpit

This past Sunday, I sat on the front row while a younger man from our congregation preached the Word. I was glad to be worshipping and listening to an exposition from the book of Hebrews. I took a few minutes during the service to explain why I think it’s a good thing to have other men preach. 

Here’s a summary of what I said. 
1. The Lord uses different voices. Different teachers have ways of communicating fundamentally the same truths but may say it or accent it slightly differently. This can be useful. After many years in youth ministry, I smile when students magically hear something “new” at camp. Sometimes it’s the simplest truth that they’ve heard hundreds of times, but  said in a slightly different way. Praise the Lord that God hasn’t made everyone sound just like me. I’m happy for diversity and how the Lord uses each of us.

2. I look for ways to demonstrate that the church isn’t all about me. Plurality needs some form of expression. I love having other people involved in leading the service, reading Scripture, and sometimes, preaching. I’m thankful that I have the primary responsibility for teaching the flock at SCC. I believe part of my teaching role is teaching by letting others teach. 

3. I firmly believe that the church must take ownership of the next generation of elders and preachers. We have the responsibility to test the giftedness of men for future ministry. I’m glad that in the summer of 1998, I was given an opportunity to preach my first sermon in a little country church outside of Jackson, AL. How would I know if I wanted to do this (or even could) for a living if never given an opportunity? Unfortunately, men get sent off to seminary every year with zero ministry experience. The church needs to step up in this area.